Trapped in the Circus: Scholomo was a circus clown who designed a room of puzzles and riddles for J. W. Kite's Circus. After Scholomo's untimely death, the circus decided to honor his memory by allowing guests like us to try our hand escaping his puzzle room.
Pros: The storyline was very unique and had us amped up to take on the circus clown's challenge. The game master emerged in character and ready to escort us into the circus. We really enjoyed the enthusiastic opener. The puzzles in the room were relatively straightforward and all tied into the storyline and theme. The game master was in the room and provided necessary assistance throughout the game.
Cons: The game master provided too much assistance. Although she was well-intentioned in her desire to keep us on track and definitely helped us to identify which puzzles to solve first, the help was much more than we needed. If the concern is to ensure that everyone escapes on time, then we suggested they allow the normal 60 minute escape time rather than 40 minutes. Perhaps then the game moderator will feel less pressure to move people through the puzzles faster. The puzzles could also have been improved by a few modifications to help lead the players to a more logical conclusion and thus to solving the puzzle. This would also free the game master from feeling compelled to provide so many hints. The decorations and set-design were minimalist and really in need of some major improvements to add to the experience of the players. A few small changes to the decor could make a dramatic difference.
King Tut's Treasure: Locked in the tomb of King Tut, our group had only one hour before the air would run out in the room. We had to find a way out by following the clues of previous treasure hunters.
Prison Break: Falsely imprisoned for a crime we didn't commit, we sat behind bars biding time until the inevitable execution day. Once the prison guards step away we had a narrow window of time to try to make our great escape.
CSI Modesto: A serial killer has just committed his next horrific murder. Our team of detectives had to figure out the identity of the killer and flee the scene of the crime.
Pros: The game moderator was very friendly and attentive. She carefully monitored all three games and offered intervention when it appeared that we needed it. Her hints were timely and helpful without revealing too much detail. The sets were nicely laid out and clearly tied to the theme. Furniture was bolted to the walls which helped avoid needless searching and kept the room tidy for future players. The props and decorations helped add to the storyline. Puzzles in all the rooms varied and included math equations, word scrambles, and symbols. The hints and clues were all very logical.
Cons: A few of the puzzles in both Prison Break and King Tut's Treasure seemed overly complex requiring more than a few steps to solve. This slowed us down quite a bit and prevented our successful escape. Red herrings and tools that had to be used more than once also threw us off the track. A few cheap props such as wooden puzzle boxes and plastic cryptex puzzle boxes also created frustration since these rarely work effectively.
Psycho: A psycho serial killer had locked us in his apartment. We had to escape before the sadistic psychopath returned to kill us.
Geek: As employees of a tech company we found ourselves locked in the office. Our boss had lost his mind and determined to end it all with a bomb. We had to find the bomb before it detonated.
The Prison: Our group of jailbirds were locked in opposite cells. Together we had to work out a plan to breakout of the joint.
Pros: The waiting room was nice and large with a variety of games and opportunities to socialize before our escape game began. The game rooms were nicely decorated and clearly tied to the storyline. Each room had a good introductory story that helped set the tone for the game. We really liked the setup of the prison room and the separation of the groups was a nice added element that enhanced game play.
Cons: These were the most expensive rooms we have ever played. We do not mind paying for high-quality games and since this is a chain we expected high quality rooms. However, we definitely felt like it did not live up to the hype. The game moderator was unenthusiastic and monotone. While we were waiting to play, we could hear him giving hints to the group that played before us. We all had to try to not hear what was being said. When it was our turn to play, we quickly found that we needed help. When we requested hints during the game his responses were delayed and condescending. Rather than giving hints, he gave full answers. At one point, we pointed out that we were unable to solve a puzzle because the information on the hint did not match the lock. He insisted we were just doing it wrong and did not come into the room to check it out. At the end of the game, he looked at the lock and insisted that it was indeed the wrong lock (and therefore the puzzle was unsolvable). Rather than apologize, he simply insisted there was "problems with management." Similarly one of the hints provided to another puzzle was completely wrong and when we pointed this out he simply dismissed it. Our concern was that he would do nothing to fix the problems for the next groups.
The puzzles in all the rooms were not tied to the theme of the rooms. They were both too simplistic (crosswords, sudoku, simple mechanical puzzles) and yet overly complex and time-consuming. We felt more like we were doing homework than playing a game. Not our favorite experience.
The Locked Inn: When you check into the Locked Inn you enter a mysterious hotel room where all is not what it seems. The story of the inn's past guests may help you escape.
Pros: The best thing about the Locked Inn is the set design. Meticulous attention to detail in decorations, furniture and props adds to the immersive feeling. A consistent theme runs through the whole game with puzzles adding to the overall storyline. The owners/game moderators were fun and friendly establishing clear guidelines and enthusiastically introducing the story.
Cons: Difficulty in locating key clues and multiple red herrings sometimes detracted from the experience. The puzzles were not our favorite.
Overall: We highly recommend a visit to this escape room by the beach. The Locked Inn is definitely a not-to-be-missed escape room experience! We cannot wait to see their next room!
Cover photo taken at Countdown Live .
We are escape room fanatics who have played over 370 games in the U.S. and Europe. We love the art of escapology and we wanted to share our adventures in playing room escapes with you!
Rooms Played: 370